Winter is the perfect season for cuddling up by a warm fireplace, with a cozy quilt and a warm beverage, and reading the afternoon away with your children. Now that my children are older, we don’t read many picture books but picture books have a very special place in my heart. All of the following picture books have a winter theme and are absolutely wonderful. So, grab a cozy quilt and a yummy, warm beverage and settle down to share some of these great winter-themed picture books with your children. The books are listed in no particular order – to pick a favorite from my favorite list of winter-themed books would be impossible.
- Chickadee Winter by Dawn L. Watkins. Chickadee Winter is a quiet, deeply moving tale of two young children who move from New Mexico to a cold part of the country and their adjustment to their new surroundings. “The only good thing was Grandfather. He was a winter man. His hair was white and smooth like a drift; his eyes were ice blue like a Christmas sky. He was always quiet, like the pines in the snow.” You will love Chickadee Winter for its timeless themes of intergenerational love, the constancy of change, and the beauty that can be found in nature.
- Annie and the Wild Animals by Jan Brett. In this beautifully illustrated book, Annie tries to relieve her loneliness caused by losing her dear pet cat by feeding the wild animals around her woodland home. Soon, she has more wild animals around than she can feed and runs out of food. A happy, surprise ending concludes this sweet story set in a winter, woodland cabin.
- Gingerbread Baby by Jan Brett. Gingerbread Baby is the classic tale of the Gingerbread Boy re-told with a happy ending and stunningly detailed illustrations. In this story, the gingerbread baby wreaks mayhem on all those who chase him until Matti, the little boy who made him, finally captures him in a little gingerbread house built just for the gingerbread baby. After reading this book, you might even be tempted to leave your cozy couch and make your own batch of yummy gingerbread!
- Cross Country Cat by Mary Calhoun. Henry the Siamese cat stars in this winter-themed story. After being accidentally left behind, Henry braves the snow, the cold, and wild animals to make his way back to the family who love him. If you enjoy the Cross-Country Cat, you can read more of Henry’s adventures in other Henry books by Mary Calhoun.
- A Little Bit of Winter by Paul Stewart. A Little Bit of Winter is an absolutely adorable tale of two best friends – a rabbit and a hedgehog. Determined to share winter with his hibernating best friend, Hedgehog, Rabbit saves a snowball for Hedgehog so he can experience winter when he wakes up in the Spring. If you like this book, be sure to read, The Birthday Presents by the same author. While not a winter-themed book, it is another very sweet story of friendship and the desire to give good gifts between Rabbit and Hedgehog.
- The Three Snow Bears by Jan Brett. In this re-telling of the classic story, Goldilocks is an Inuit girl, the bears are polar bears, and the setting is the Arctic instead of the woods. As always, Jan Brett’s illustrations are a visual feast.
- Sadie and the Snowman by Allen Morgan. Sadie and the Snowman is my daughter’s favorite picture book of all time. Sadie is a girl who loves winter and building snowmen. “She used cookies for the eyes, an apple for the nose, and a great big banana for the smile. He was a really good snowman and he lasted for a long time.” When winter comes to a close, she is quite sad but figures out a way to save her beloved snowman until winter comes again.
- Frederick by Leo Lionni. Frederick is the tale of an unusual mouse who spends his time gathering sun rays, colors, and words instead of food. His very important contributions to his family in the middle of the cold, harsh winter remind us all of the importance of nourishing our spirits along with our bodies.
- My First Little House Collection of Winter Tales by Laura Ingalls Wilder. Adapted from the beloved books by Laura Ingalls Wilder, this collection of three picture books all focus on winter. This collection includes Winter Days in the Big Woods, Christmas in the Big Woods, and Dance at Grandpa’s. All three are completely delightful and will be loved by Little House fans of all ages.
What are your favorite winter-themed picture books?
Samantha homeschools her three children who are in 8th, 6th, and 4th grades this year. Samantha writes about family life and homeschooling at To Be Busy At Home.